During wartime Japan (late 1930s – 1945), the Japanese women in colonial Korea were pounded by ideological injunctions and practical imperatives demanding better service to the empire. This article explores the negotiations and struggles of Asano Shigeko (1922 – 42), a Keijō-born female Japanese student who died of tuberculosis at age twenty-one, through a reading of her Yamatojuku nikki, the Diary of Yamato School. Asano's diary documents most forcefully the desire of a young woman for imperial validation, neither as a wife nor a mother — two legitimate categories of women recognized by the empire — but as daughter of the empire.

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